A North Korean official has warned the public that the nation’s threat to test a nuclear weapon over the Pacific ocean should be taken “literally.”
The warning heightens already strained relations between the United States and North Korea following President Trump and his administration’s repeated threats of military action against the nation of 25 million.
Trump took to Twitter last month to insult North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and has since suggested that “diplomacy” is not an option with North Korea.
Trump referred to Kim Jong Un as “Rocket Man,” repeating the name in a speech at the United Nations.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2017
North Korea responded with this statement:
“I’d like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and to be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world.
The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to ‘totally destroy’ a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.”
“I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.”
Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” in August. US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, in an interview with CNN in September, corroborated that threat.
“We wanted to be responsible and go through all diplomatic means to get their attention first. If that doesn’t work, General Mattis will take care of it.”
Earlier this month, Rex Tillerson appeared to be smoothing over the administration’s incendiary rhetoric, telling CNN that he was pursuing diplomacy with North Korea.
“Those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops.”
North Korea tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July. In September, it conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test.
In mid-October, North Korea renewed its threat to strike Guam while the US prepared to launch a 10-day joint military drill with the South Korea in the waters east and west of South Korea.
Senior North Korean official Ri Yong Pil spoke with CNN, where the newest warning to the United States was relayed.
“The foreign minister is very well aware of the intentions of our supreme leader, so I think you should take his words literally.”
Ri also implied that diplomatic channels between the US and North Korea had not been opened, despite Rex Tillerson’s claims to the contrary.
“The US is talking about a military option and even practicing military moves. They’re pressuring us on all fronts with sanctions. If you think this will lead to diplomacy, you’re deeply mistaken.”
Senators Chris Murphy, Corey Booker, and Brian Schatz are introducing a bill that would take away Trump’s ability to order a nuclear strike. The legislation would give Congress sole authority to call in a strike, after a vote.
It’s time to wake up and take these threats seriously. Tell your senators to sign onto Murphy, Booker, and Schatz’s bill. The world can’t afford for us to wait around and hope nothing happens.